HAMBURG, N.Y. – The No. 2 seeded Penn State Behrend men's basketball team was upset in overtime by No. 3 seed Pitt-Greensburg in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) semifinals Saturday afternoon by a score of 67-64.
The Lions (20-5) dropped their third consecutive game to end the season and back-to-back games against the Bobcats (18-9), falling to them last Saturday to close out the regular season.
This semifinal matchup came down to the wire, following a high intensity level throughout the entire game. To close out the second half, Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) came up with a huge steal and threw a long outlet pass to Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) who finished and put the Behrend up 54-53 with 34 seconds left.
After a missed layup by Pitt-Greensburg, Pullium was fouled and sent to the line for two shots to stop the clock. He made 1-of-2 and gave the Lions a two-point lead. A foul called on the Bobcats' last ditch shot sent Jerell Figueroa to the line where he made both foul shots that sent the game into overtime all tied up at 55.
In the overtime period, it all came down to the final buzzer. Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) hit a three from the corner to cut the Behrend deficit to two points. Figueroa made 1-of-2 free throws with 10 seconds left and gave the Lions a chance to tie.
Moving the ball up the court, Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) found Gorny open in the same corner he had just made a triple. Gorny threw up the potential game-tying three, but it just lipped out and Pitt-Greensburg captured the chance to play for the AMCC Championship.
Leading the way for the Lions Saturday was freshman Niland. He finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc. Niland also added five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block.
Behind Niland was Pullium who scored 11 to match his jersey number. Senior Zane Hackett (Brookville, PA/Brookville) was a force on the boards, grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds while adding eight points.
Pitt-Greensburg had three players in double figures, scoring all but nine of their total team points. Mike Connelly had a team-high 21, 15 of which coming in the second half and overtime. Figueroa dropped 19 points while Rocco Contristano added the game's only double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Behrend is now looking for a bid to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament for a chance to continue their postseason.